Jets Woes. Doom. General bad things. That’s what pre-season and training camp has been like the last few years for the New York Jets, and particularly when it comes to injuries. Yesterday during practices, Mekhi Becton went down in worrying fashion and limped off the field. Despite an initial positive outlook from Coach Saleh and the staff, a precautionary MRI revealed things were far bleaker than first imagined.
Becton injury scare will leave the Jets searching for an answer at Tackle as the season rapidly approaches.
Becton has been no stranger to injury since coming into the NFL. His rookie season the man was everything he was advertised to be; and absolute monster in the run game, and even in pass protection he looked a start almost erasing some of the best rushers in the game. The game against the Chargers is the one that always comes to my mind where we saw him stand his ground against Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
But despite that, Becton has been a divisive figure amongst fans. He was on and off the field on numerous occasions which led to legitimate questions as to whether Becton had the type of conditioning that could stand up to life in the NFL. 2021 didn’t help things when a freak injury to his knee put him out initially for weeks ended up with him missing the entire of the year. Between fans and the media, Becton’s health and weight became the talk of the off-season.
When Becton turned up to camp though all of that seemed to be put to rest. He looked in great shape and all signs pointed to a come back season for the former 11th overall pick. With this new injury though, and the potential for another lost season, is Mekhi done as a Jet?
The 5th year option discussions would likely start at the end of this year, and if all the front office have to go on is a year(ish) of production and several serious injuries are they going to trust that he can put all of this behind him, or will next offseason be the time for them to move on?
Where next for Joe Douglas?
The Jets were already looking to add depth at Tackle with a visit from Duane Brown already in the books to give some reassurance going into the season with Becton and Fant both coming off injuries from 2021. That’s no longer a nice-to-have and something the Jets desperately need to make sure Zach Wilson has the chance to show what he can do in his second year.
Anyone who can make it into an NFL roster clearly has some kind of talent most of us will never possess, but no-one wants to see Edoga or McDermott out there; you may as well roll out the red carpet for Myles Garrett in week 3 and start digging Zach’s grave now.
Even if Joe Douglas can land Brown there still needs to be depth added to this OL room. Brown was the depth option, the security blanket if Becton or Fant (still not 100% certain to start the year) weren’t ready to go or had to take a few games out during the season. This leaves the Jets needed two tackles with Week 1 against Baltimore only a month away.
There are options still out there in free agency, and a few potential surprises via trade as well. JD has been nothing if not capable of surprising us. Not many people were overjoyed when his first big free agent signing was a swing tackle from Seattle but Fant turned out to be a legitimate starter at LT and someone there’s serious work going on to give a second contract to.
This has all been a bit doom and gloom which isn’t how we should be thinking as Jets fans. Becton can come back from this and rejoin the line up at some point this season and go on to the be the long term answer the team thought he was when they drafted him. It’s up to Joe Douglas and the front office to make sure that they bring in the necessary pieces to protect Zach, and let Mekhi and the medical teams work on getting back to health.
The man himself believes it after all; and I for one do not argue with 6′ 7″, 370 lb guys … even when they do have a bad knee.